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Thread: 52100,w2 and 01 steel. Which do you prefer?

  1. #1
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    52100,w2 and 01 steel. Which do you prefer?

    I'm just curious if people here that have experiences with these 3 steels have a preference for one over the other. I would like to hear why you would choose one steel over the rest. I've already read the "which steels and why" thread, I'm looking for how users experiences compare between 3 steels...thanks.


  2. #2
    Senior Member chefcomesback's Avatar
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    52100


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    Senior Member panda's Avatar
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    you forgot the 'why' part of your reply.

  4. #4
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    I have always been a big fan of O-1 steel. if properly heat treated it really is awesome to use. nice toothy edge, easy to sharpen and holds it for awhile. My pocket knife is made by Cris Anderson and its w-2 and is amazing Cris is a master on the heat treat of that steel. I use it everyday and have lightly stropped twice in a year. these just feel right on the stones and for me have great feedback. Marko's 52100 isn't anything sneeze at either but, my favorites are O-1 and W-2
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    52100 treated right is awesome. Fine grain, decent retention, gets very sharp. Russ

  6. #6
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I've not tried W2, but personally prefer O-1 to 52100. IMO, 52100 always felt too soft on the stones...O-1 just feels better to me. I also consider O-1 to patina a bit more cleanly.

    Just checked Gator's chart and W2 stood out as having about 50 percent more carbon than the others. They all appear to be very clean steels.

    I think it depends on too many other factors but in my limited experience I would give O-1 the edge holding advantage over 52100. Unfortunately, I've not had the opportunity to try the different steels made by the same maker.
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  7. #7
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    I have an 01 by Will Catchside and a 52100 ITK by Devin Thomas, they are both insanely awesome knives, they basically sharpen up by showing them a finishing stone (of course I'm an amateur cook so I can't speak to a production line) but I have never even had them even on a 1k stone, very occasionally I'll do a quick session on Jon's 3k but most of the time I just do a few strokes on a 6k and finish by stropping on 1 micron impregnated balsa and they are back to razor sharp - often the balsa is enough

    So I think, if they are heat treated by a master, you aren't going to be able to see much of a difference between these steels!

  8. #8
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    I haven't tried W2.
    I have a large gyuto from Butch in 01 and a few(Marko, Rader, Devin) in 52100.
    I don't know if it's the HT or what, but I'll take the 01 over the 52100. Gives a little bit better feedback on the stones and has a slight edge(no pun intended) in the retention department.
    "When you're driving behind a Prius, there's 100% chance that nothing exciting will happen" -Karring M.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cheflarge's Avatar
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    52100 "Takes a licking & keeps on ticking"!!!
    Good food is essential, where knives are an integral part of the process.

  10. #10
    Senior Member chefcomesback's Avatar
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    In my experience 52100 is more stain resistant , can get a finer edge and has better edge retention than 01 , can't comment on w2


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